Black Pepper-Vanilla Syrup

Sarah Morrissey, Ernesto's | New York

“It really is a simple add to a drink that gives it backbone and makes it just a little different,” says Ernesto bar director Sarah Morrissey of her Black Pepper–Vanilla Syrup. Originally created for her Deacon Blues cocktail, 40 cracks of black pepper give the Old-Fashioned riff a spicy bite, yielding the sort of herbal complexity that Angostura bitters often provide in other cocktails.


Yield: 1 cup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open
  • 40 cracks cracks fresh black pepper

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Strain out the solids and store in a sealable container.